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Huge argument with parents, I hate ill feeling(112 Posts)
Posting here so it disappears.
My parents and I are incredibly close and we see each other a couple of times a week and I speak to my mum pretty much every day on the phone.
Just over a week ago they told me of their plans to move house to somewhere that they visited on holiday for a week and had fallen in love with. I know they've been thinking of moving for a long time but they've never talked about going anywhere more than an hour away. This move would take them four hours away and would significantly reduce the amount of time we all spend together. I know my parents would miss their grandchildren, they absolutely dote on them, and the grandchildren would be heartbroken (all under eight years old). My parents don't know anyone in the new area and they haven't any links there with the past. Their announcement knocked the wind out if my sails and made me look again at what I thought was a brilliant and very close relationship.
I, rightly or wrongly, am devastated. I feel abandoned. My parents have always been such a support to us and to their own parents before they passed away. I'm not worried about the support we'll lose, we would cope, especially now the children are getting older. What really worries me, is that as they age, I won't be able to support them, help with appointments, pick up a bit of shopping or pop round for a cuppa. I haven't been able to talk to them about it because I know how upset I'd get, but I did write them an email to explain my concerns about how they'd cope if they needed anyone in the future and we're all far away.
It's been a week now and nobody has spoken. I popped round early last week and my dad wouldn't come down from upstairs and my mum could barely bring herself to talk to me.
They're obviously not going to make the first contact. I can't bear this ill feeling and want to clear the air, but I understand that they're disappointed that I'm not supportive of their proposed move. I still feel strongly about them moving so far away, so I don't want to apologise for feeling the way I do, but how can we all move on from this point? I have already told them that I'd be happy and excited for them if they had found somewhere just a bit closer to home, where we could visit without having to stay overnight.
Please don't criticise me for holding them back, but I really can see that when they're older and their needs increase, this will make life incredibly difficult for all concerned. They're not outgoing people who will throw themselves into community life, so they're likely to be very isolated. To add to my worries my mum doesn't drive, and she wouldn't take the train back to visit (for and a half hours, through centre of London on the underground, four separate trains). Any suggestions for making the first move would be appreciated. My siblings are much younger than me, without DC, so they're more flexible with when they'd be able to visit and see this as a bit of a fun adventure. We are tied to school holidays, so visits would only happen every six weeks at the most. Siblings aren't talking to me either, so I feel that our close family has just completely shattered because of this. Please be gentle. I am so upset.
Really? You are devastated that your adult parents have made a decision you don't like?
In all honesty you should have just said that although you are happy for them, your only concern is when they get older you're not close enough to help them day to day should they need it. Not lay what sounds like a massive guilt trip on them.
Not surprised they're cross really. Perhaps they feel you are too dependent on them?
Are you going to be like this when your children move out?
Be happy for them. Wish them well.
If and when they need support I'm sure they'll be able to return.
And I'm sorry to say this, but with the best of meanings, it's stupid to fall out with your family over this.
I don't want to apologise for feeling the way I do
But do apologise for letting them know and letting them affect your relationship with them.
Your feelings are your problem.
How did you respond at the time for nobody to have spoken for a week?
You are making it all about you. They have every right to move away. You can keep in contact by phone and Skype. You pissed on their chips no wonder they are upset.
You're totally in the wrong here and I feel very sorry for your parents.
I understand you will miss them but I think you should have kept some of your feelings to yourself instead of making them feel bad about their lovely retirement dream plans.
Opposite situation for me as I was the one that moved me and my children some four hours or more away from my parents. Children were 10 and 13 at the time and saw my parents throughout the week, we all had a wonderful relationship.
My parents knew that where we were moving was lovely and it was what was best for us. No doubt inside they felt the way you are feeling but they never made me feel guilty or tried to put a dampener on it.
On the other side their fathers mother, grandma was incredibly spiteful and told the children they would be bullied in new schools and she was very hateful and nasty about us moving away. As a result the once great relationship my children had with her became very strained and now they don't really bother with her.
The relationship with my parents has endured as they gave us our blessing and we all are very grateful for their loving support.
Apologise to your parents and wish them well, there are many ways to form a loving long distance relationship.
Ok, my parents moved four and a bit hours away (on a good run) five years ago, they were both in their early sixties. They know, as do DSis and I, that this won't be a 'forever' home - they are very rural (seven miles from the nearest shop, need a 4X4 as totally inaccessibly by normal car during the winter etc). I was quite gutted, I'm very close to my folks and had got used to seeing them a few times a week, but they are really happy. Due to the ruralness of the locality they see a lot of their 'neighbours' (farming community) as everyone drops in regularly. Mum has a huge garden, room for the horses, dad has a number of workshops and a ahem, 'vintage' tractor that he spends his life tinkering with.
When they proposed moving there, I was very taken aback but I supported them. The only thing I was clear about, from the get go, was the journey is enough that going for the weekend is a PITA so in reality they'd only see us in the school holidays (my DDs are older, so less heart clutching in terms of missing their GPs). This has worked out fine, it really has.
We are now facing a (possible) diagnosis of something terminal for my Dad, which is obviously horrific, and DH and I had a long conversation the other night about what happens if worst comes to worst, and you know what? We'll work it out. The thing that matters is that my parents have had the retirement that they wanted (and deserved) living somewhere they love.
For the sake of you, and your family, and I mean this in a gentle, kind way, you need to take some time to come to terms with this, then put your game face on and support them. Our parents can fall ill and need support at any time, life has to flex around that but I don't think it's fair to ask your parents to not do something, based on the fact that they're getting older and might have increased needs. They know that
If they have been a support to their own parents y til they passed away as well as grown up children they obviously feel bows the time to do something for themselves.
You haven't had to look after elderly parents yet so you won't understand where they are coming from op and your dc are still totally dependent on you but a time will come when you aren't needed as such all the time and you will want to pursue things for yourself.
Don't begrudge them something. It's a big life decision they're making but it's their choice and life and I think your being very selfish to be so negative about it.
Are you married?what does your dh think?
Let your parents live their lives, why do you want to stamp on their dreams.
Not everyone reaches old age. They have obviously being good, supportive and loving parents, it's their time now.
You have your own family now, you and your siblings will be able to visit. Sometimes change, is hard to swallow, but it's part of life.
Go and see your parents, tell them that you love and support them, as they have you, but their decision, came as a shock.
You're saying, 'I worry about you and want to be near you if you need us.'
They're hearing, 'You selfish old duffers, what if you fall and break your hip trying to get out of the bath, death is only a loose stair carpet away! Why can't you move straight into a retirement home then we can all relax?'
If it doesn't work out they will move again. The DCs may be 'heartbroken' or may see it as huge adventure depending on how you pitch it to them.
Please talk to your mum and dad, say you were shocked and the wind was taken out of your sails but now you have had time to think, you are glad they are raring to go and want a change and of course they must do what they like, you wish them well and are happy if they're happy.
RE the point about them being too far for you to help when it comes to that, I think you have to assume that they know that and accept it.
Of course, if later you get pressured to help from four hours away, you'll have to say no, but as they are adults I think do them the favour of assuming they know this and are okay with it.
I appreciate it must be hard to feel like they want to cut themselves off.
Elle has it right.
They will be aware of all the disadvantages of being a long way away from you, they have weighed them against the things that have attracted them to the new place and come to a decision that's right for them.
It isn't the decision you would have made but that doesn't mean it is wrong.
Them moving away will change the nature of your relationship and the regularity of contact somewhat but you refusing to support their decision would be a whole lot worse.
You need to accept their decision and focus on keeping your close relationship intact.
I think you need to get in touch and apologise for the way you reacted.
There's nothing wrong with being upset but you've wallowed in it and now you need to get on and sort out this stalemate between you and your parents.
They want to go and you should be supportive instead of wondering what will happen in years to come.
I agree with others; it comes across as it all being about you.
I feel that our close family has just completely shattered because of this.
Your siblings may be waiting for their cue from your parents, so the sooner you deal with this, the better.
Maybe they feel oppressed and overburdened by the amount that you rely on them
They want to escape and start a new life
You are being ridiculous. After everything these wonderful parents have done for you they feel it's now 'their time' get a grip and give them your backing.
You have got no right to ask them to not move to their chosen destination but to somewhere in the middle! The cheek of you! They like their chosen area
You are being spoilt and entitled!
They have other children who can look after them in an emergency)in the chance one will arise)
There are so many threads about parents not interfering in their children's lives, giving them space to make their own decisions.
It's the same the other way round.
We moved a couple of hours away from ours; we live near the coast where there are shops in walking distance, local transport links to further afield and good neighbours. No one wants to think that because you get to sixty, yo can't make rational decisions. It might be that they'd like to choose a lifestyle just for themselves.
It sounds as if you want your parents to put relationship with you and their duties towards you before their own happiness
As if you always want to be centre Stage
What did you say that made it such a bad situation? Can you think through the words that may have hurt them to work out how to approach your apology?
A PP made a good point about them possibly hearing you saying they will shortly be old & doddery and it could be too much to help them out.
I do think you need to support them but if I've understood your OP correctly, I think they are barking to move to a place they only know from one holiday!
I feel for you. You feel like you are not as important to your parents as you thought you were, as they don't seem to be worried about seeing less of you and the children. That's going to sting a bit. And you are worried that they will get there and hate it becsuse being on holiday is not the same as living in a place.
And it's true that as people age, their needs increase rather than decrease.
It sounds to me like you have given them a bit of a reality check and now they resent you for bursting their bubble instead of saying what they wanted to hear.
MN has this weird mentality where everyone is supposed to be fully independent and never need anyone or rely on them but that is not real life.
In the end you have to support them because if you hold them back they will feel you have stopped thrlem living their dream. Ring them up, tell them you love them and will miss them but obviously if that is what they really want you will support them.
Honestly, though, I don't think you did anything wrong in pointing out pitfalls.
If they continue to sulk and not speak to you, then leave them be. Not talking to someone because they said something you don't like is childish.
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